The Flywheel

Program for April 18th

Energy, Electricity, and Petroleum:
What's Happening?

Severin Borenstein

Dr. Severin Borenstein is co-director of the Center for the Study of Energy Markets and a former member of the governing board of the California Power Exchange and the California Attorney General's Gasoline Price Task Force.

Dr. Borenstein will help us understand the ever-changing landscape of energy resources, energy usage, and our future.



Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Pam Jones opened the meeting today at the Mira Vista.  She then led us in the pledge of allegiance
Stoney Stonework led us in the invocation.
Henry Kelman reminded us that he groundhog has declared that it is officially spring.   

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

  • Sid Chovan brought his grandson to the meeting today.
  • Laura Kuhn our newest proposed member came again to lunch and was guest of Jim Young.
  • Charlie Fender brought Nancy Skinner our speaker today.

Sunshine Report

  • Don Lau reported that he was coping with his recent surgery and he will have to speak more softly than usual.


  • Rafael Madrigal announced that he is looking for Rotarians to participate in the Cinco de Mayo parade on 5/3.  On 5/4 he wants Rotary to set up a booth.
  • Mark Howe explained that the Richmond Yacht Club beer can evening sailing series has started again and that anybody from the club is welcome to sail on his boat “White Fang”.  Be at his house, 1321 Sanderling, by 5:30 if you want to go.  Dress warmly it can be cold.  The race is finished by 7:00 or so and you can go to the club afterward for a hamburger for $6.50.
  • The Teen Moms Project for young moms at Kennedy and Richmond High was started two years ago by Rotarian Rhonda Harris. Jan Brown announced Rotary's support for this year and will need willing hands to shop, prepare baskets and make deliveries. Dates are pending. Stay tuned.
  • Tony Thurmond reminds all members of an event hosted by Josh Genser, a benefit event for children who age out of the foster care system. See Upcoming Events (left column), April 27th for details.

 Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Jim Beaver was happy the Don Lau survived his ordeal with the medical community and welcomed him back.
  • Monique Le Conge donated a few bucks to celebrate that her taxes were only $35, her daughter was accepted at Whittier College, and that she was demoted to just a librarian for the City.
  • Herb Cole donated some happy dollars because he celebrated his birthday in Beaumont
    Texas with a relative of Dan Tanita’s.
  • Jim Young let it be known that 23rd street was paved and gave some funds to celebrate the fact.
  • Father Nick asked some kids in his class how old he was.  They said around 50.  He actually turned 60 this week so he donated some money to celebrate his youth.


Building and preserving the East Bay Parks system
earth from space

Nancy Skinner, a member of the East Bay Regional Park District Board (EBRPD), was our guest today. Nancy is also running for the 14th District Assembly seat, along with Tony Thurmond (which might explain Tony’s presence today). 

Nancy was here to explain the $500M park district bond measure that will be on the November ballot.

Nancy served on the Berkeley City Council for 8 years and has been on the Park Board for 2 years. She represents Ward One of the Park District. 

She reminded everyone that the District was started by the donation of excess land from EBMUD early in the century.  EBRPD has 100,000 acres and is bigger than the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

In 1988 voters passed a $200M bond issue whose proceeds were used to purchase additional park lands.  This bond issue will soon be paid off and the District wants to pass another $500M bond issue to replace it.  If it is passed the amount of our property taxes that has been used to pay off the first $200M bond will remain the same and will pay off the new bond.  The proceeds will be used to purchase more park land, as with the first bond, and to make improvements to existing EBMUD parks. In addition, 25% of all proceeds will go to each city in the District to spend as it chooses, allocated on a per capita basis.

- Rotating Scribe, Mark Howe